Serverbrowser censorship

14 October, 2007 (16:37) | Game industry

A few days ago it became clear Valve actively filters the ingame serverbrowser on specific parameters disallowing any gameserver they dislike. In this specific case Valve filters out any gameserver larger than 24 slots for the game Team Fortress 2. The serverbrowser used to be THE place to find the gameserver of your liking. Now you’ll see players avoiding the censored browser and moving on to public listings like to find the gameserver they would like to join.

That is a bad hit for the community … That servers were always full and people loved it …

The issue began with gamers using hex-editors to enable 32 slot mode in the beta of TF2.  Valve would update the serverside software every other day to break this hack. After a week a mod was released that allowed every server to run 32 slots without file editing. Large parts of the community moved on to 32 slots for public gameplay. In a response, Valve started the censorship of the ingame serverbrowser. As servernumbers stayed up, playernumbers started to drop. TF2 is still in beta, but as the game is released only to people who bought the game (in the Orange box combo pack), there is absolutely no difference between beta and gold for the players.

All source games are technically great for modifications; new maps, mods, plugins are all easy to integrate. This is the first time Valve tries to stop a new modification and limit the gameplay in a way they shouldn’t.